Sesame-Garlic Whole Grilled Chicken

Grilling a whole chicken may seem intimidating, but with a little confidence (you CAN do it!) and some tasty instructions (oh hey guys, that’s also why I am here), this can be one of the best ways to get dinner on the table for a crowd. Not to mention its actually quite simple, healthy, and makes one very very, dare I say, very, flavorful and moist (I said it!) chicken. On top of that, it looks pretty damn impressive when you pull that baby off the grill in front of guests.

Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 1 whole chicken, approx. 4-5 lb's
  • Marinade: 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sesame Chile Paste, found in the Asian aisle at your grocer
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • Sesame Garlic Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sesame Chile Paste, found in the Asian aisle at your grocer
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  1. Prepare marinade: In a bowl whisk together all ingredients. Place the whole chicken, breast side up, in a large bowl or container that can be refrigerated. First use your hands to create a little space in between the skin and breast meat. Don’t break the skin off the chicken, just create space for marinade. Using a large spoon, work the marinade under the skin, on top of the breast meat and leg meat.
  2. Cover and allow to marinade for 1 hr. up to over night.
  3. 1.5 hrs. before you want to serve begin to prep for making the dish. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Next, make the sauce.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Whisk together and then allow to cook down, covered, on medium/low heat until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Heat the entire grill on high heat, allowing it to become very hot, around 600°F.
  6. Once grill is ready, turn off the center burner. Turn the side burners down to medium/low heat.
  7. Place the chicken on the grill directly or on a grilling basket, in the middle of the grill, off of the direction heat. Make sure the breasts are facing up.  I like to use a grilling basket for ease of taking on and off the grill. You can also use an oven safe pan that can withstand high heat, like a cast iron skillet.
  8. Allow to cook for 35-40 minutes, noting the temperature of the grill. The grill should stay between 400°F – 450°F.  Meanwhile, place about 1/4 of the sauce from the stove and place into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush or BBQ brush, base the chicken with the sauce every 15 minutes.
  9. Check on chicken after 40 minutes. It should be browned but not overly blackened. If it looks like it’s getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil and allow to continue to cook for another 15 minutes. After 50-55 minutes, check the meat temperature. The breasts should be 150°F-155°F.
  10. Take off the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. At this time, continue to heat the sauce on the stove until it becomes even more thick, about 5-10 minutes.
  11. Cut and serve chicken while warm and serve with the additional sauce.

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